Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tipped to be first Premier League manager sacked next season
Arteta 'in pain' after Arsenal miss out on Champions League
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Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol has tipped Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to be the first manager sacked next season. After two consecutive eighth-placed finishes, the Spaniard led the Gunners to fifth last season but they were pipped to a Champions League spot by north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Nicol told ESPN: “I think Mikel Arteta [could be the first manager sacked] because they had a horrible start and everyone wanted him out, slowly they built it up and got themselves into fourth but by the end of the season, Arteta was under pressure.
“They really fell off, so if they start badly again he could be the first one to go.”
Arteta was under pressure at the beginning of last season, where the Gunners began the season with 2-0 defeats to Brentford and Chelsea before losing 5-0 away to Manchester City in August.
Arsenal did bounce back from a tough opening month though and were unbeaten in both September and October. Arteta’s side were in a strong position to finish in a Champions League spot this season, but some disappointing results following injuries to key players Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey saw them lose out to Spurs. Arsenal finished 24 points off champions City, and Nicol believes it will be harder again for any club to catch Pep Guardiola’s side and Liverpool next season.
“The key is for the other sides,” Nicol said. “They need kind of an overhaul if they are to get close to these two sides. Unfortunately for the other sides, Liverpool and Man City just needed a little bit of tinkering. On top of that, maybe the two best players available in the market go to City and Liverpool which makes it even worse.
“How all these other clubs are going to find players between them that are going to push one of them against those two sides, all the best, but I don’t see how United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea [compete with the top two], where are the players available to push these sides? It’s not happening.”
Arsenal completed their first signing of the transfer window on Monday as Brazilian Marquinhos joined from Sao Paulo. Technical director Edu said: “We’re delighted to have completed the transfer with Sao Paulo, as Marquinhos was a player we had been watching for a while.
“At 19, he is still very young, so he is a player for the future. We look forward to Marquinhos now joining us for pre-season, making his new home, and continuing to grow and develop with us.”
The Gunners have suffered a blow, however, as previous transfer target Yves Bissouma has agreed a £25million deal to join Spurs. He is set to become their third signing following deals for winger Ivan Perisic and goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
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